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in Paradise. Then the earth brought forth its fruits, without the labour of man; and Adam and Eve had only to pluck and eat, and to walk about and enjoy themselves in the lovely garden in which God had placed them. They now suffer the punishment due to those who are disobedient to the will of the Lord; they find that the earth no longer produces them food, without hard labour; and instead of living in perpetual sunshine and innocent pleasure, the seasons change. At one time the sun scorches them; Eve must fly to the shade of the trees to protect herself from its burning rays ; Adam must toil on, and till the ground, however hot and tired he may be : at another time the frost nips them, and they must sew together the skins of the beasts of the fields to keep themselves warm.
We read in the Scriptures, that after God had created the heavens and the earth, and all the creatures and fruits contained in them, it pleased him, to create a being superior to all others, and that he “ formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." He then planted a garden in a country far to the East, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
In this garden, God made to grow all manner of trees which bear fruit pleasant to eat, and all manner of beautiful flowers which are pleasant to look at and to smell. In this garden, God placed every thing which could be either useful or agreeable to the man whom he had formed : but in the midst of the garden stood two trees, the one, the tree of life; the other, the tree of knowledge of good and evil : and God said to Adam, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."
After giving this command, God made all the beasts and birds and other living things pass before Adam, that he might give them names. And after this was done, God created Eve, to be a companion to Adam : for he said, “ It is not good that the man should be alone."
How much more must Adam have enjoyed scenting the sweet flowers, and watching the sports and gambols of the lions and tigers, when he had Eve by his side to talk to, and to share his pleasures with him! In these days before man's first disobedience to the commands of God, all the creatures of the earth were as gentle and harmless as the lambs are now; so that you must not be surprised when you hear of Adam and Eve sitting quietly to watch the wolves and tigers sporting in the bright sunshine.
But all this happiness did not last long. The serpent, the most cunning of all the beasts, came and poured his treacherous breath into Eve's ear; he asked if God had forbidden her touchin gevery tree in the garden. Eve answered that she might eat of all the trees of the garden, except the one which stood in the midst of it, but that of this tree God hath said, “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
The serpent persuaded her that she would not die, and that if she ate of the forbidden fruit she would become wise; that she would know good from evil, and would become like to God himself. Eve listened to what the serpent said, and when she saw that the fruit looked so tempting and good to eat, she plucked some from the tree, and not only ate of it herself, but carried some to Adam who ate also !
Adam and Eve no longer felt happy when they
heard the voice of the Lord calling to them in the garden, but ran away and hid themselves. God asked why they were afraid, and if they had eaten of the tree in the midst of the garden. Then Adam said, “ The woman which thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “ What is this that thou hast done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
When they had in this way confessed their crime, the Lord pronounced the punishment which they should suffer for their disobedience.
God first pronounced a curse upon the serpent ; and commanded that from that time, it should crawl along the ground on its belly, and eat the dust all the days of its life, and that there should be constant enmity between it and the human race: that the serpent should sting the heel of man, and that man should tread on its head.
God next condemned the woman to suffer much pain and sorrow, and to obey the commands and be under the rule of her husband.
Then God said to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
«« Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken ; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Then God would no longer allow Adam and Eve to live in this beautiful garden, lest they should take the fruit from the tree of life also, and live for
He therefore sent Adam forth from the garden of Eden, “to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
Thus man was driven out of the garden of Eden, and God placed his cherubim or angels at the east of the garden, with flaming swords which turned every way, to prevent him from returning again to it.